The Keto Fried Pickle Hack TikTok Loves

The keto diet — short for ketogenic — is a low-carbohydrate diet that relies on a process called ketosis in which the body uses protein and fat for energy. According to WebMD, many choose the keto diet for weight loss purposes. While there are potential medical benefits of the keto diet, particularly for those with epilepsy, you should always talk with your doctor before starting a new diet. UChicago Medicine describes keto as an unsustainable "quick fix" for weight loss that may, because it likely can't be sustained, lead to weight gain. The keto diet could also increase your risk of heart disease as well as nutritional deficiencies, low blood pressure, kidney stones, and problems with constipation.

Earlier this year, U.S. News & World Report ranked the keto diet 37th among 40 contenders in its list of the best diets for 2022, based on input from nutrition and health experts. The diet earned just two of a possible five stars in the U.S. News & World Report assessment. Still, the TikTok social media channel remains a repository of keto-positive sentiment, as dozens of videos on keto recipes, keto meals, and even keto cereals — with combined millions of views — are readily available. Some of the most interesting of the TikTok videos are focused on a popular snacktime option — fried pickles — showing how to make them keto-friendly, largely by substituting traditional batter and panko coatings with cheeses.

Fried pickles the TikTok way

TikTok health trends, including keto-friendly posts, have caught the attention of nutritionists. One version of the keto-friendly fried pickle recipes that proliferate on TikTok — collectively garnering millions of views — was noted in a recent HuffPost look at health trends on the social media channel. That recipe for cheesy ranch pickle chips, from @kristysketolifestyle, calls for drying sliced pickles on a paper towel, placing some shredded Colby-Jack cheese in the bottom of each section of a muffin pan, placing pickle slices atop the cheese, adding some ranch seasoning and another layer of cheese, and then baking the pickles and cheese at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. According to the TikTok post, the pickles are best enjoyed with a homemade ranch dressing dip.

Registered dietitian and recipe developer Maggie Michalczyk, founder of food and nutrition website Once Upon a Pumpkin, told HuffPost that while she's not a fan of the keto diet, this recipe is "a fun, low-carb snack option." She did, however, add that instead of ranch dressing, she would use plain Greek yogurt with ranch seasoning. Beyond the recipe critiqued by Michalczyk, TikTok is filled with fried pickle creations that could be keto-friendly, including the fried pickle "chaffle" – sliced pickles cooked between layers of cheese in a miniature waffle maker. But fried-pickle purists need not fret, plenty of TikTok videos take a more traditional approach, including options for preparing breaded pickle slices or spears in an air fryer.